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Supermodel Amber Valletta talks wearing Jennifer Lopez's iconic green dress first: 'It literally broke the internet'

Amber Valletta recalls wearing Jennifer Lopez's iconic Versace dress before the singer did. (Photo: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)
Amber Valletta recalls wearing Jennifer Lopez's iconic Versace dress before the singer did. (Photo: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)

Jennifer Lopez has had many iconic fashion moments, but few are as memorable as her 2000 Grammys look. The jungle-print, belly button-baring Versace gown put Lopez on the style map. But she’s not the only star who's worn the look: Model Amber Valletta wants the world to know that she wore it first.

Valletta opened up to Vogue’s Life in Looks YouTube series and shared her experience donning the gown before Lopez ever did. In 1999, the Hitch actress modeled the frock for Versace’s spring/summer runway show. She even wore it again for the brand’s campaign.

“This dress has been Googled more times than any other look in history,” Valletta explained. “It literally broke the internet when [Lopez] wore it, so it’s kind of cool to be a part of that history — but I wore it first.”

“I think this was like the pinnacle of, like, fierce Versace sexiness, blonde ambition,” the 49 year old noted. “It was just like Donatella, Donatella, Donatella. The infamous jungle dress. I wore it on the runway and then obviously, I did the campaign. Then, J. Lo wore it to the Grammys. It was a massive iconic moment when she wore that dress,” Valletta said. The dress would prompt the creation of Google Images.

“Nobody went out like that ever. I mean, no one had ever shown skin in the front like that, you know, past the navel … I think it was just so ahead of its time and just said, ‘I’m woman and hear me roar … Literally from the jungle,” she explained.

Though the model wore the dress first, she would never wear it again. In 2019, Lopez closed Versace’s runway show during Milan Fashion Week by wearing an updated version of the iconic gown.

Surprisingly, the Versace dress has a lengthy history of celeb-wear. In 2020, Lopez told Vogue that her stylist originally feared the dress wouldn’t make a statement. “She was like, ‘No, you can’t wear that one, somebody else has worn it, actually, Donatella [Versace] herself has worn it. One of the Spice Girls has worn it. Sandra Bullock has worn it in another color,” Lopez recalled.

But the "On the Floor" singer was certain about the look.

“I said, ‘This is what we’re going to wear. This is it.’ I really didn’t think about it. I didn’t think it was all that risqué, to be honest. I was more excited that it was the Grammys. I wasn’t even really thinking about the dress that much. I was just glad I had something to wear."

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